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Survey: Aussie property investors buy an average of 300km from home

Gone are the days when property investors go and ‘kick the tyres’ themselves, so to speak.

A new study by MCG Quantity Surveyors shows an abundance of Aussie-based property buyers are looking further afield for their investments, with 300km being the average distance between owners and their investment properties.

Mike Mortlock, director of MCG Quantity Surveyors, analysed depreciation reports commissioned by 1000 clients in the year to May 2020, in order to extract investor buying habits.

He was shocked to find an average distance of 293km between investors and their properties. This was even after excluding six offshore clients, who, when included in the study, hiked the average up to 372km.

“The numbers showed just 6.9 per cent of Australian-based investors bought within their home suburb,” Mr Mortlock explained.

“I’d suggest this is a dramatic drop from the proportion we’d have seen 10 or 20 years ago.

“In fact, of this domestic group, around 30 per cent were buying more than 200km from home.”

This represents quite a shift in perception as to what research is required before buying an investment property.

“There’s been a tradition among Aussie investors to invest where they know and, in general, they know where we live,” Mr Mortlock said.

“The idea of wandering too far from you ‘locality of comfort’ frightened investors in the past, so an average distance of 293km is substantial.”

“Of the clients studied, 36 per cent bought within 10km of their primary place of residence, but a number of factors at play indicate we’ll see even more investors ‘going remote’ in the future,” Mr Mortlock said.

“Readily available online information, combined with easy access to independent professionals like buyers’ agents, have made it a cinch to confidently buy in national hotspots regardless of where you reside.

“In fact, investors have never been better educated about the best locations for investment.”

As more and more Australians flee the cities and set up in regional areas, investors will no doubt follow suit.

“Regional localities and smaller cities continue to gain appeal – and the ability to work from home will only boost their attraction, particularly in lifestyle hubs.

“For investors who are simply interested in seeking locations where there is good rental demand and potential for capital gains, following the population makes sense.”

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Nathan Jolly

Nathan Jolly was an in-house journalist with Elite Agent. He worked with the company from July 2020 to December 2020.